Guest Post: Our Child

Not long after we came home with the boy I stopped searching for Russian adoption blogs. ?I simply didn’t have the time. ?I barely had time to keep up with my own life let alone the lives of the hundreds of blogs I followed. ?I stopped reading many. ?There are times that I check up on blogs that I’ve read in the past, just to see how the families are doing. ?It is very rare that people find me while searching for Russian adoption anymore. ?I used to rank right up there on the front page of the googles. ?Not anymore. ?Search for 2 year molars and you’ll find me though.

All of that being said, I don’t know who found who first. (or is that whom?) ?All I know is that I’ve been following the story of John & Tori Liggett for over a year now. ?In fact, I’ve become quite invested in their progress. ?Probably because they’ve had a bit of a headache with their adoption process… shocking no? ?When I asked people to be guest posters there were only 2 that came to mind that were in the pre-adoptive stage. ?My sister-in-law being one and the Liggetts being the other. ?This is what John has to say about their on-going experience.

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My wife and I began trying to have a child in the summer of 2005.? Having no success on our own, we turned to doctors, fertility drugs, and various procedures.? After over a year of fertility specialists, drugs, and treatments, we were no closer to our goal of having a child.? We were at a crossroads with two choices:? begin in vitro fertilization or begin the process of adoption.? In the end, we felt like the potential success of adoption outweighed the not-so-great success rates of in vitro considering the cost.

This was a tough decision to make for me.? In effect, I was giving up and admitting failure.? We weren?t going to conceive a child.? Even now, that?s tough to admit.? I had my doubts going into the adoption process.? I wasn?t sure if this was the route we were supposed to take.? I wondered if we were letting the cost of in vitro get in the way of what we truly wanted.? After a short time however, I learned that what I wanted, and what my wife wanted, were not the same thing.? Don?t get me wrong, we both wanted a child.? She wanted a child to love, nurture, and raise.? I wanted ?our? child to love, nurture, and raise.? I wanted a child with our bloodlines, our genetics, and our traits.? I wanted to father a child that we conceived, which in retrospect, was a vane way of thinking.? My wife simply needed to be a mother.

I think she sensed my apprehension with adoption, which made things difficult.? Throughout our adoption journey, she has always taken the lead on getting things together and completing required paperwork.?? Just as everyone told us to expect, we had several setbacks along the way.? Our original agency went out of business after we had paid them several thousand dollars.? They were supposed to transition us to a new agency with no additional costs on services we had already paid for.? But, while they did transition us to our current agency, there were additional costs and fees on top of what we had already paid.? Our original homestudy agency was blacklisted and we had to have another homestudy completed (by a different agency) and resubmitted.? Our entire dossier was returned from Russia so we could have the apostille on each document attached in a different way.? Basically, every aspect of our adoption journey has been repeated at least once.? After each setback, my wife would apologize and tell me she was sorry for pushing me into adoption.? What she didn?t realize is that while I was hesitant in the beginning, after reading various blogs about adoptive families, taking the courses required as part of our homestudy, and from talking to friends and family that had adopted, my thought process had changed.? I was no longer uncertain about whether adoption was the correct path for us.? Adoption had become part of us, part of who we were.

One of the things that really jumped out at me was the bond shared by those who have adopted or are in the process of adopting.? We were quickly embraced by an entire community of people who knew exactly what we were going through.? With each setback, we had a great support group of those who had been through the same struggles.? They told us to keep going and not to give up, that the end result would make us forget all the troubles.

While we have not quite finished our journey yet, we have received a referral for a little boy and we do have a confirmed travel date approaching.? I don?t think I realized the weight of the adoption process on me.? It was easy to see how the stress of the adoption process affected my wife, particularly with the ups and downs.? I spent so much time trying to reassure her that everything would work out that I had basically numbed myself to it all.? While the setbacks definitely concerned me, I had to act like it was not a big deal and that things would work out.? I often told her that everyone said it would be a difficult process with a ton of problems and setbacks.? We had been warned that the adoption process is a roller coaster ride of emotions. ?Over and over, I told her, ?it will all work out.?? She quickly tired of this response, but it was all I could say.? It was all I could hope for.

My wife gets frustrated with me because she says I never get excited about anything.? On the day she called to tell me we had received our referral, she had to tell me three times.? The excitement I was feeling wouldn?t let me fully comprehend what she was telling me.? When I told a friend at work, I broke down.? I struggled to get the words out.? A sentence as simple as ?we have a referral for a little boy,? just wouldn?t come out.? It was in that moment, that I finally realized the full weight of the adoption process and the burden it had been.? When I got home that day, I told my wife that I never realized how stressed and miserable I had been.

And while we know there are still potential issues and setbacks out there, we are hopeful that this journey is almost over and another is about to begin.? All of the doubts I had initially about adoption are now a distant memory.? In fact, when I think of something my father said to me, I wonder how I ever doubted that this was the right path for us to take.

My initial doubts about adoption led me to a lot of reflection about what I wanted from a child.? I soon remembered a conversation I had with my own father years ago.? My father, himself an adopted child, once told me how lucky he was to have been adopted and raised by my grandparents.? At the time of this conversation, adoption was not something I ever dreamed was in my future.? But what he said in response to a question I asked stayed with me forever.? In fact, it was the memory of his answer that finally put my mind at ease regarding adoption and erased all the doubts and questions I had.? All those years ago, not fully understanding how silly my question was, I asked my father, ?Don?t you ever wonder who your real mom and dad are though??

His response, simple yet so profound:? ?No. ?I know exactly who my real mom and dad are.?

1 Comment

  1. mom says: Reply

    Everyone struggles through that initial process of the baby being truly mine. (blood) Adoptive parents are the ones whom chuckle at this caveman thinking. All knowing that the baby held in our arms is OUR baby. I will never forget that moment you became mine.

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